Trenton Jones Co - N.C. Feb 5th 1836
I have often thought that there is not, and can
not be a purer and more interesting attachment than that which exists
between a brother and a sister. The imaginations of poets and novelists
may paint out in the more glowing and attracting colors the affection which
exists between lovers but yet can it be in reality compared to the warm
and disinterested friendship of the former? Can a brother forget or neglect
a sister? What time might accomplish it is difficult to conceive. But judging
from the past I think that should my mind lead me to the Indies & there
my whole interest lied in the accumulation of the "filthy lucre" yet an oc
casional sigh for my sister would arise. When I left home Father or Mother
were scarcely more thought of than sister. When I passed the Academy there was
a heard Per[?] Strictors[?] daughter (about your size but older) play so beautifully on the
Piano - I again thought of you. the wish arose that you could do the same.
When I rode in the cars so gently yet so swiftly and look out on the morning
landscape a desire arose that I could [---?] glorious appearance
to my sister - When I again embarked on board the steamboat & beheld
the pondering [----?] machinery when I beheld the beautiful scenery of the
Connecticut River - when I awake in the morning and looked out on the
shore illuminated by the pale moonbeams I would wish "Oh that my sister
were here". But I did almost fancy you were there for when I went on deck
I found there a girl about your size sitting alone in front of the ladies cabin.
I entered into conversation with her & found her one of the most enlightened
girls I ever saw. There was so much ease in her manners - so much animated
sensibility in her conversation - She told me that she was going alone
from her Fathers in the City of Hartford to visit a brother who was a
Physician in New York City. I asked if she had no friend on board
she replied that all were strangers to her. We now passed along in view
of the city of New York. I enquired what this fire was I saw - she answered
the glass works. And from this I found her to be well acquainted in the
city. But our agreeable conversation was soon interrupted by the bustle
occasioned by the meeting of the passengers - I saw her no more -
When I arrived in the city & began to look around it at some of the
beautiful squares - the finest & most elegant buildings - when I was intro
duced to ladies of intelligence - O that Abby had been there - When I saw
the beautiful balloon ascension amidst the acclimations of thousands
of people - How I should have been pleased to have shown the same to
my sister - But this thought would ask why should I wish it - why should
I wish to break that calm retirement which she enjoys - & introduce her to the
bustle & confusion of traveling - take her from friends is horror up that now
peaceful & contented countenance by the coldness of the world - No, Abby rest
contented in our peaceable native village - acquire the simple accomplishments
which will introduce and recommend you to good company - acquire that knowledge
from books which experience would pay too dearly for. And then you will
enjoy all the cream of life & happiness without encountering the miseries of
those who expose themselves to the hollow heartedness of the Public.
You being at home cannot conceive of the conflicting emotions of a brother
dependent entirely on the generosity of strangers - can not see the ups & downs
which he is obliged to experience - can not see the eye of envy & jealousy
turned upon him - nor hear the tongue of slander - not feel the influence of
the secret machinations to destroy his popularity with that of his cause.
Of the world, Abby, you can scarcely form any thing like a correct idea.
It is like any thing: it is like nothing - it is like the tumultuous ocean -
It is like the air, continually changing - it is like the land - hill and
dale it is like your garden Abby - you would cull the flowers but as
for use they are bitter - and after all you find that worst looking plants
are best - But as you know nothing scarcely of human nature. I will
write that which will perhaps be more interesting. Of the young ladies
of this country I cannot say much in favour. They are not generally
well educated - too free & open in conduct & conversation - Rich but
not very handsome - having the Southern sickly [---?] in their countenance.
When one is rich & well educated she is apt to be coquettish & to
have a multiplicity of beaus around her which I think very disgusting.
For instance I visit the Father of one young lady who is worth fifty
thousand dollars & the young lady is visited by at least four
young men [--?] different times - Should I go on Fathers maxim as I
have heard him express it. I might engage myself to a young lady
worth from 10 to 20 thousand to get rich at once. But this is too
much like the Methodist ministers in this country - I am told
they come here without a horse & go away in a coach & four -
But I have seen no young lady yet that I would marry if
she was worth 20,000. When I go for money I go for not less than 50,000
But no more of this - What else shall I tell you
about - Why certainly about myself if I can find nothing else. I am in good health &
fine spirits - have a great many warm friends as well as enemies -
I am well treated & ill treated - I am rich yet poor - independent
yet dependent - dressed finely. Yet in rags - I owe forty dollars in
New York - and a hundred here - and don't own a tenth part of it yet
am I able to pay it - But no more enigmas. What I am after is for
you to persuade Father that I am very much in want of a rigging
out from top to toe - From my hat the silk is worn besides it being
bent My stock(?) shows the bristles - my vest is now the better for holes
about the collar - My coat is lacking a button or two - having moreover
a little fringe about the cuffs & not lacking for rents & darnings &c
My flannel is not bad for there is none of it - My pantaloons show
thread & especially where I have darned one or two holes
in the side of my [---?] worn by stirrup beathers &c My drawers
are none the better for wear - Stocking don't cover my feet. Boots
begin to [----?] & I cant get them mended - But what is worse than
all the rest my [----?] has so many holes in it, that it cannot con
tain money - Now I have a proposition to make & that is that
Father either send me a first rate suit of clothes or send me
60 or 70 dollars or to write immediately that I am to expect no
assistance from [-----?]. [----?] [---?] [----?]chances & I would rejoice
if one of them was accomplished - for I am greatly pressed - my
appearance is far below my standing in society. I shall have
my sulkey(?) on the first of march & would like to have my clothes
at the same time. I might almost say I must have them.
I want something to be determined on the day on which this letter is received.
If he sends the clothes - send them to New York to be consigned to "P.Price[--?]
No.2 Chatham Square N.Y to be shipped by him to New York[?] from whence I
can get them. If the money, in a letter on the very day if possible directed
Trenton &c - Write immediately at any rate.
The weather is so bad within a week or two that there can be no
preaching in such open houses without glass & scarcely doors -
We have had a little snow - enough to whiten the ground a little
and I have two or three times to break the ice
and [---?] with a nail in order for my horse to [---?]. There has
been within a month a rash change of weather. Only three weeks since
I saw mosquitoes - & there was two or three thunder shower.
But now the ground is as solid as a rock & my poor horse like all
the rest here without a shoe. The farmers cant plough. Dull times.
It is so cold now that I persuade them sometimes to shut their
doors as well as build up large fires. Doors here are only used
at night & that only for the purpose of keeping "niggers" out.
About yourself Abby - at home I suppose - hearing the unwelcome
injunction "Bring in a handful of ascrawls(?) to kindle up the fire.
But tell mother that she and father can certainly take care
themselves until you get an education for if they cannot
they never will. Now is the time Abby that your character
is forming for life. Now is the time that your future standing
in society depends on. Now is the time you should learn to paint
to read French - to sing - to be polite - to be ready in conversation -
to pay attention to your dress appearance &c &c in fact to be accomplished.
If you are a course girl now, you will be a course woman -
If Mother can't spare you now she never will spare you.
Make Br Thomas bye you an elegant album and common place
book of poetry. And tell Warren to bye for himself the "Young
Mans Guide". Both of you pay attention to your hand writing.
I have just received a letter from Br. Charles who is now
well although he states that he lost 3 or 4 hundred dollars
by sickness in the fall - I am rejoiced to hear from William
I presume that Thomas received my letter sent a month since
or more. Give my love to Sister Emily of whom I could not
take leave as I came away - My respects to all inquiring
friends. I would be much pleased Abby with a letter
from you in answer to this. Do write Your Affectionate
Tell Father that one hundred dollars will do me more good
now that 500$ will five years hence if I have my health.
My situation is something as Chs was when he commenced in Miss.
But I mortally hate begging although it be a part of the ministerial
profession. If it does not come of free & good will let it stay -
Dear Father. I have just received your letter as I was going
to put this in the office. I am extremely glad you have sent in
it some of the "needful". Although I regret to tell you that I really
need fifty more - which if I have my health is all that I shall
require My appearance is altogether bad and I cant run in
debt to a tailor or anyone else unless I borrowed of one of the
brethren which I dislike - I shall take care of my health
I will assure you for I've got to ride horseback only a month
or six weeks longer - with love to Mother and all the folks.
I remain your grateful and affectionate Son